When Customers Get Angry, Do This. Fast.
Feel their pain. And do it quickly.
Disappointed customers are more likely than ever to vent frustrations with your business on social media. Unfortunately, more often than not, this means they are less likely to get a satisfactory and timely response than if they had made their complaint known directly to your company via email or phone.
Maybe that’s because you don’t even know they are unhappy. If you’re busy spending your days running your business, rather than trolling Twitter for mentions of your company, you may have no idea unhappy customers are posting their grievances there for all the world to see. But, a lack of response from you makes it more likely that they will remain angry and, worse yet, spread word of their dissatisfaction far and wide.
This means you need to be more thoughtful not only about monitoring social media mentions of your company, but how you respond when you are alerted to a dissatisfied customer. According to research in the Journal of Marketing, the best outcomes require listening carefully and showing empathy for the customer’s complaint.
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“Empathy involves connecting at an emotional level with complaining customers by indicating understanding of their feelings with explicit expressions of validation and affirmation,” researchers said. It could be as simple as saying: “I would feel the same way” or “this never should have happened.” Acknowledgement goes a long way toward making customers feel seen and heard - and more likely to forgive and forget.
The best outcomes require listening carefully and showing empathy for the customer’s complaint.
If you don’t have time to spend all day monitoring social media mentions of your company, there are plenty of inexpensive tools you can use to do that for you. I love Buffer, which has a robust free version, but here’s a list of some others that also come highly recommended. Whichever tool you decide to use, make sure you’re monitoring it regularly and responding in a timely manner. Longer than 24 hours is too long to let a customer wait.
PS: I saw recently that Youtube is rolling out Youtube handles. This is great for businesses who actively use Youtube as a marketing tool. If you already have a Youtube channel, you should be receiving an invite from Youtube to choose your handle soon. If you don’t choose one by Nov. 14, Youtube will assign you one that you can change. Act fast to get the handle you’d like, especially if you want to match it to the handle you use on other social media platforms. You can learn more here.